Senate President Bukola Saraki has described the present malnutrition challenge being witnessed in Borno State as a national problem which deserves the attention of everyone.
So serious is the problem that the Senate President has promised to raise the issue on the floor of the upper legislative chamber of the National Assembly soonest.
Saraki made this declaration while in Maiduguri, the Borno State capital, on a condolence visit to the people of the state over the death of Shettima Monguno, a first republic minister and the first African head of the Organisation of Petroleum Exporting Countries, OPEC.
The Senate President also used the opportunity to visit the centre for the treatment of people suffering from severe malnutrition.
During his interaction with journalists at the Maiduguri International Airport after the visit, Saraki said that Borno State has been left to carry too much of the burden of the Boko Haram insurgency, adding that it has become pertinent for others to give the people there a helping hand.
“I am happy I am here with the leadership of the Senate. Before we break we will definitely discuss it (the Borno malnutrition crisis) on the floor and see what we can do,” he said, adding that the federal government and all concerned agencies need to do more to remedy the situation.
“I think it is not good for a country like ours, we are a rich country, it is just an issue of organizing ourselves and getting the fund to support the state government. The state has been carrying too much of the load on their own,” Saraki said.
“We all need to put in our effort and see how we can address the (malnutrition) situation because it is the women and children that have suffered most from this. We must do our best to play a role and support the state in doing that,” he added.
The Senate President was accompanied on the visit by the Majority Leader of the Senate, Mohammed Ali Ndume, Abubakar Kyari, Baba Garbai and Adamu Aliero.
He said the visit to Borno was an eye-opener as it has offered the team the opportunity to see first-hand the extent of the malnutrition crisis.
He however commended that state government for the work it has been doing in managing the crisis.
Saraki said that the senate is almost at the last stage of passing the law on the North East Development Commission.
“We believe that the institutional framework is necessary to start to address the situation and once we pass the bill the commission can start to work and begin to register the issues of rehabilitation and reconstruction that is important.”